Dining out at an Indian restaurant is always guaranteed to be a unique culinary experience.
But did you also know of the many health benefits associated with Indian food?
“Diners who visit us obviously love our food, and are always pleasantly surprised to hear how healthy it is, too,” said Ajay Jaggi, co-owner along with his wife Kalpana of Papadam, an authentic Indian fine dining experience located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “Studies are continuing to show the positive effects of Indian food on arthritis, cancer, weight control and other pressing issues facing Americans today.”
In fact, Jaggi offers these three health benefits of Indian food, for starters:
1 – Fiber (And Protein) Rich
Indian recipes frequently call for chickpeas and lentils, both of which are high in fiber and resistant starch while the lentils are also high in protein. And as an added bonus of sorts, lentils also are extremely high in protein. The fiber found in legumes also helps to lower cholesterol levels and promote heart health. “The majority of Americans don’t get enough fiber in their diet, and Indian food is a delicious way to increase this,” notes Jaggi. And because of their fiber and resistant starch, legumes are one of the more filling and satisfying foods.
2 – Good With Weight Control
Of course not all Indian food is low in calories. However, the spices used to prepare such dishes helps to promote a sense of satiety, so fewer calories are consumed overall. The key to healthy dining at an Indian restaurant like Papadam is to avoid dishes cooked in ghee, a type of clarified butter which is high calories and fat. When prepared correctly, Indian dishes can be low in both calories and fat. If unsure, simply ask the chef not to use ghee or added oils when preparing your dinner. You’ll get the health benefits without all of the added fat and calories.
3 – Studies Have Shown It May Help Arthritis (Eat More Turmeric!)
Many Indian dishes are seasoned with curry, a mixture of healthful spices. And one spice prominent in curry blends is Turmeric, which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
A study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism showed that this orange spice reduced joint swelling in arthritic rats. As well, some patients have reported significant improvement in their arthritic symptoms after adding curry based foods to their diet. Turmeric is also being investigated as a possible treatment for brain aging and cancer.